Larry Seifert

Arriving in Israel, the scenery is familiar. An airport is an airport is an airport. Beyond that, the exterior is western, but the interior holds so much more. You can feel the history in the atmosphere. The years of turmoil, more years than years of peace. A perpetual cease fire. Eternally.

Fertile, an oasis of kumquats in a sea of sand. A definition of Israel. Like the kumquat, a sweet taste on sour innards. A sour history riddled with war and persecution. War and persecution that makes the country stronger. Unified. One. Eternally.

Shema Yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai echad. A message planted in the Western Wall. The wall that millions have touched, felt. A wall of tears still stands as a symbol of survival. Small in number, spread, and alive. Eternally.

Yit gadal v'yitkadash shemai rabbah. Remembering those who perished in the Holocaust. Dehumanized, yet persevering. Devastated and fighting. For a future. A survival of a people. Apart but forever United. Connection through hardship is strong. Unyielding. Eternally.

A look across the holy city has me in tears. Beauty that cannot be found anywhere else. A powerful moment that has no words. History that one can feel. Shivering on top of the Masada, not from wind. A story of 900 who would rather have died than lose themselves to the Romans. A story that teaches a lesson and remains in the spirit of a people. Eternally.

Boker Tov. A people rises with the sun. Blissful despite a harsh reality. Not naive, quite the opposite. We have to be to continue. Continual happiness is difficult, but this nation proves it's possible. Never take for granted. Be grateful for life. Eternally.

Lila Tov. I hope to return eventually. Reconnect with a nation that will be on my mind, in my heart. Eternally.

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